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Full text of "A history of Persia"

GRANTING OF A CONSTITUTION     507
interest to note that Mohamed Ali Mirza (now the ex-
Shah) contributed large sums for the support of the
agitation, with a view to securing the downfall of the
Ayn-u-Dola. According to information supplied by a
Persian friend, as soon as His Royal Highness heard
of the movement, he sent for the Mullas of Tabriz and
called upon them to support it. The partisans of the
exiled Atabeg-i-Aazam also actively supported the agita-
tion and supplied it with funds.
In vain the Shah sent a high official to induce the-
multitude to disperse. The favourite was received with
marked hostility, and his mission was a failure. The
pressure on the monarch became intolerable, and finally
he yielded to the popular demands, promising in an
autograph letter to dismiss the obnoxious Ayn-u-Dola and
to convene an Adalat-Khana, or "House of Justice."
On the receipt of this letter the leaders of the movement
returned to Teheran in the royal carriages ; and the first
phase of the struggle ended in the promise to satisfy the
popular demands. It is to be noted that as yet there
was no demand for a constitution.
The Exodus to Kum, 1906.óWith curious blindness
the Persian Government supposed the danger was over
since there were dissensions between the popular leaders
and the priests and a number of men who were believed
to be trustworthy had been collected to support a re-
actionary policy. Consequently, no steps were taken to
give effect to the royal autograph except the issue of a
proclamation by the sovereign promising Courts of
Justice, a new Code, and a Council to consider the
question of reforms.
In the spring of 1906 the Shah was approached by
means of a petition, which prayed His Majesty to give
effect to the promises contained in his letter. In the
middle of May, however, he had a paralytic stroke,
and the Ayn-u-Dola, who was all-powerful, decided to
embark on a policy of repression. Sayyid Jamal, an
eloquent preacher, was expelled and retired to Kum.
Sayyid Mohamed, who had also denounced the Ayn-u-
Dola, was seized. A mob collected, shots were fired, and